Advertising is a fundamental element of a market economy, also referred to as a free market, like the UK. Advertising benefits commercial entities and individuals directly or indirectly associated with a market economy. Also, advertising is integral to a marketing mix, a core component of any business plan.
Advertising drives sales of a business, hence revenue and profit. Advertising benefits customers, too, as they learn about available goods and services, get exposed to alternatives, and can make informed decisions.
Advertising benefits everyone in a free market ecosystem, but the nature and scope of advertising have changed in recent years. Signboards are essential on the ground, but digital signage is omnipotent in the virtual world. Commercials now have a cousin in online videos.
What are the benefits of advertising?
Advertising Association and Deloitte UK conclude in their Advertising Pays 2 report that the country’s GDP records a return of £6 for every £1 spent on advertisements. You will find the complete report here, hosted by the European Association of Communications Agencies.
According to a report submitted by the Select Committee on Communications in the House of Lords, advertising contributes around £120 billion to the nation’s economy and supports more than 1 million jobs. In the UK, advertising accounts for a spending of over £20 billion in a year, with almost 200,000 people employed directly by advertisers and marketing companies.
The phenomenal impact on the UK GDP and employment aside, here are the benefits of advertising for small to medium businesses:
- Introductory Exposure
- Infotainment Campaigns
- Sustained Branding
- Time-Bound Promotions
- Increased Sales, Revenue, and Profit
- Market Competitiveness
- Surge in Demand
- Market Expansion
- Market Share Retention
- Retargeting Campaigns
While the benefits of advertising are irrefutable, the net impacts are not a foregone guarantee. Just as some goods or services fail to capture the imagination of customers, advertising can also be ineffective to influence the target group.
Hence, businesses must imperatively conceive an executive an effective advertising strategy irrespective of size and niche.
1. Introductory exposure
One of the foremost benefits of advertising is exposure.
You may prioritise print, radio, television, mail, email, or the internet. You can combine multiple relevant mediums for a holistic advertising campaign.
The primary objective is to introduce a company or its goods and services to the target group.
Advertising uses myriad contents, such as logos, taglines, images, videos, sales copies, newsletters, and outright promotional discounts.
These are the only ways for a business to establish, then enhance its exposure in a chosen market.
2. Infotainment campaigns
Advertising enables businesses to create and run infotainment campaigns. Marketing is not always promotions and sales. Likewise, advertising is not restricted to sales offers and soft or hard sells. Advertising is also a form of branding and an instrument to educate a target group.
Infotainment campaigns are a popular form of information marketing. Such advertisements do not approach the customers as mere numbers or statistics. The information in the created contents is conveyed with an expressed intention of helping the public decide what is in their best interest.
3. Sustained branding
Advertising manifests into sustained branding. A sign by the main street, a company logo on the building that houses the registered office or headquarters, the slogan or tagline in online banner ads, and many traditional or contemporary advertisements ensure brand visibility.
Thus, a company or its products and services are constantly in the subconscious pondering of the target groups. The truth of out of sight and out of mind is most profoundly evident for businesses that don’t invest in sustained branding, not only through advertising but the entire marketing mix.
4. Time-bound promotions
A marketing plan is a macro strategy. There are many micro tactics within the ambit of a marketing mix that have precise objectives. Many of these specific objectives are time-bound, such as a limited-time promotional offer.
You can conceive, create, and roll out an advertisement, test its impact and roll back if ineffective. Likewise, a successful ad can run for a year. Adapted and updated versions of the same can run for a decade.
Great advertising and promotional ideas stand the test of time.
A classic example is Black Friday. The American phenomenon flew across the pond to the UK in 2010.
It did not become a rage in the country until 2013. By 2018, Black Friday had become the most significant annual sales event in Britain.
5. Increased sales, revenue, and profit
Sales are the outcome of the entire spectrum of a marketing mix. Everything from sustained branding to the final call-to-action through a promotional discount is designed to influence a sale. All interim marketing and advertising campaigns are engineered to bring about the same result.
Without effective advertisements, a company will fail to convince the target group with their ultimate call to action. Take the example of Black Friday, which is all about markdowns or enormous discounts. Yet, the biggest beneficiaries are the well-known brands that advertise all the time.
In 2018, the average spending per shopper on Black Friday was £346. The fashion and luxury products segment witnessed a sales growth of 437%. The total spending through the Black Friday weekend in 2019 is estimated at around £8.57 billion.
Now, which brands are getting richer? They are the big guns with perennial visibility.
Among the retailers and e-commerce sites, the largest beneficiaries are Amazon, Argos, Currys, Ebuyer, John Lewis, Laptops Direct, and Very.
In the consumer electronics and tech segment, the hottest deals are from Apple, Asus, Echo, Fitbit, HP, Kindle, Lenovo, LG, Nintendo, Oppo, Philips, Samsung, Sony, and Xbox, among others.
6. Market competitiveness
Every market research initiative has to study the competition. A business and its products or services can be competitive only comparatively and not in isolation. Advertising is a practical test of market competitiveness.
SWOT analysis and the findings through market research reflect a fair assessment of prevailing competition and a brand’s competitiveness. However, the actual market competitiveness of a product or service becomes evident only after the advertising consequences are tangible.
7. Surge in demand
All businesses aspire for and accordingly prepare to supply more to meet surging demand. The eventual measurable objective of a marketing mix is a marked increase in demand. However, a sustained convincing exercise rests on advertising.
A promotional discount or unprecedented offer can be the final push, a call-to-action that eventually converts an interested customer into a sale. Advertising must precede such offers or promotions to create a convertible surge in demand.
8. Market expansion
Market expansion requires businesses to acquire more customers for existing goods or services and rollout of new products. Advertising is crucial for both. Sustained advertising campaigns often have unintended effects, some of which can be surprisingly pleasant.
A particular advertisement may promote the latest product or service. However, the campaign itself also re-emphasises the brand’s presence. The targeted customers may check out other goods or services of the same brand, leading to a sale. Such developments contribute to business growth, a precursor to market expansion.
9. Market share retention
Businesses cannot retain their market shares without sustained advertising. Companies with a subscription-based revenue model must pay heed to threats from competitors. Businesses dependent on repeat purchases should keep advertising and ensure perennial marketing to retain their clients.
10. Retargeting campaigns
Advertising allows companies to retarget interested and uninterested customers. All customers go through a buying cycle. Traditionally, businesses have used marketing funnels, which still work in some cases. However, customers are more aware and proactive now with self-driven online research.
A marketing mix including advertising empowers businesses to develop a purchase funnel that is more in sync with the consumer’s thought process. E-commerce or online sales also necessitate a conversion funnel. These funnels can determine the timing and content to be used for targeting and retargeting.
What are the benefits of advertising to consumers?
Advertising empowers customers to be more aware and informed about available options. Then, consumers can compare the relevant products or services in any niche and decide what is best for them. Customers also benefit from fierce market competition.
Why online advertising is important
Brands paid about £200,000 for an advertising slot of only 30 seconds during The X Factor finals.
The show’s viewership was an average of 14 million, peaking at 19.4 million for the live final. A company advertising for 30 seconds could reach a potential target group of 14 to 19 million.
UK businesses can now reach out to millions of potential customers by paying an incredibly tiny fraction of the £10 million that Guinness paid for its Tipping Point ad in 2007. Online advertisement is beyond important. It is necessary.
Small to medium businesses, in particular, must use native online advertising, search engine optimization and marketing, pay-per-click, and a combination of banners and sponsored display ads. Also, companies must exploit ads through social media, mobile, email, and affiliates.
The UK has around 48 million active users spending an average of 100 minutes every day on social media. Adult Britons spend more than four hours online every day. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the three most popular platforms for users. Countless videos on YouTube get millions of views. An ad on any such video can target a massive audience.
What is the importance of advertisement in a marketing mix?
A marketing mix includes branding, promotion, advertising, and sales. None of these processes exists in isolation. A product or service, its pricing, and value for the customer, and the user experience are pivotal to a marketing mix. Without it, you’re not marketing your brand to your full potential.
Ingenious advertising leveraging product design to create a brand
The most recognisable brand logos worldwide are 3M, Apple, Coca-Cola, Disney, eBay, FedEx, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Nike, Pepsi, Olympics, Shell, Target, Visa, and Wal-Mart.
The most iconic brand logos in the UK are BT, Cadbury, Jaguar, London Underground, Rolls Royce, and Virgin Media.
One company not on the two shortlists is Absolut because it is not known for its logo but the bottle. A quick isolated glimpse and most people will find nothing extraordinary about the rather staple design, shape, form, or material of the Absolut bottle.
However, what the company did with instrumental assistance from advertising geniuses is the kind of stuff that makes for legendary tales. The Absolut bottle is now as famous as the McDonalds sign and the Mercedes-Benz insignia.
Old souls will probably remember the first-ever Absolut ad leveraging the design or shape of its bottle. It was a print ad released in 1980 featuring the vodka bottle with a white halo. The tagline at the bottom read Absolut Perfection.
The advertisement was a runaway hit, which we would describe today as viral. Absolut and its advertising agency figured they had struck gold. They went all out with the concept.
In 1981, Absolut used the Aristotle Square in Thessaloniki, Greece. Over the decades, they have used famous landmarks and cityscapes of Amsterdam, Aspen, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and Oslo to increasingly and consistently embed the image of their bottle into the minds of customers worldwide.
How important is copywriting in advertising?
Copywriting is for advertising what a chipset is for a processor, a central processing unit is for a computer, the source code is for software, an assembly line is in manufacturing, and calligraphy is for design. Copywriting is involved in various components of a marketing mix.
Copywriting a three-word slogan can change the fate of a business
In the late 1980s, Reebok was a bigger brand than Nike. When Nike was clocking annual sales worth 800 million (USD), Reebok was already steady at 1.4 billion (USD).
Then, Nike launched its Just Do It advertising campaign. The visuals and the messaging aside, the three-word slogan is one of the greatest copywriting accomplishments in history.
Nike’s sales soared to 1.2 billion (USD) by 1990. However, Reebok was still well ahead with annual sales worth 1.8 billion (USD), but Nike was on an upswing. Nike doubled down and turned an advertising slogan into a trademark. By 1998, Nike’s sales were worth more than 9.2 billion (USD).
Nike has used the same essence of its original advertising campaign across print, television, and the internet for more than three decades now.
Why you shouldn’t ignore advertising and copywriting for your business
A company cannot reach out to its target group with the right messaging without persuasive advertising powered by eclectic copywriting. A business will constantly fail to exploit the customer buying cycle.
Companies with fast-moving product cycles will become unviable. Enterprises relying on repeat purchases or subscribing patrons will cede their market shares to the competitors.
Advertising is sometimes considered an outward activity that businesses have to indulge in to be sustainable and profitable. In reality, advertising is an integral part of the bedrock for any company’s success. The only scenario in which a company can ignore advertising is a monopolistic market.